Indonesian girl dies of bird flu

Updated: 2008-01-15 21:36

JAKARTA -- A 16-year-old Indonesian girl died of bird flu on Tuesday, putting the total fatalities to 96 out of 118 cases in the hardest-hit country, the health ministry said Friday.

The girl from Bekasi, an outskirt city of Jakarta, has been treated at the bird flu-designed hospital of Persahabatan in East Jakarta since Wednesday after he had been treated at a hospital in Bekasi since January 4, an official of bird flu center of the ministry Ahmad Priatna said.

"She died this afternoon," Priatna said.  

All her laboratories tests had indicated that she was positively contracted by the H5N1 virus, he said.

"Both laboratories tests of her blood samples were positive on Thursday," he said.

The girl consumed three half-boiled chickens eggs two weeks ago after scores of chicken died suddenly in her residence in the last two months, said Priatna.

The girl first showed the symptoms of the disease with high fever and throat problems on December 30. Then she went to doctors at December 31 and January 2, said the official.

Contact with fowl is a common cause of the bird flu death in Indonesia.

Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country and home to millions of backyard chickens, is considered a possible hot spot for spreading the bird flu disease.

Indonesia has been at the front row in fighting to combat the spreading of the highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses.

Millions of people can be killed, and the world economy may suffer a set back should the virus mutate in a level that can make it transmittable among humans, experts have said.

Indonesia has grappled with major problems on its effort to stop the spread of the virus spread, including huge territory and traditional way of rising chickens on back yard.

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